March 16 Deuteronomy 30, 31; Psalm 40; 1 Corinthians 1

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

Printable reading plan: Life Journal Reading Plan

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Traveling Companion | Thomas Cellilli (guest post)

S~ The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

O~ It’s something truly amazing that the Lord Himself would take on flesh to walk before us and alongside us. Moses’ prophecy of the forthcoming Incarnate is a symbol of hope when we don’t know where to go, when we feel alone, afraid, or discouraged. The promise of Christ’s dwelling presence in humanity is not only for the sake of salvation, but we have a God who empathizes with humanity as someone who took on full humanity.

A~ While Moses’ words were an encouragement to the Israelites before Christ’s first coming, I believe it also serves as an encouragement to us. Because He has already come and dwelt among us, we can assuredly say He has walked before us and alongside us; He knows what we are going through and empathizes with us. Christ is eternal and is never going anywhere. He is truly our most intimate traveling companion.

P~ Lord, You know me because You have assumed my nature in order to reconcile it back to You. Thank You for doing this for my sake — for a sinner like me. Help me to rest in the assurance of Your guidance and presence.

Christ Confirmed in Me | Vicki Burns

S~ My paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 from the NIV, :4 It is through the grace of Christ, :5 my life is enriched in every way because their :6 testimony of Christ is confirmed in me! :7 So, I do not lack any Spiritual gift. :8 He will keep me strong to the end :9 because He is faithful!”

O~ Testimony is powerful only because it is “confirmed” in a life…an enriched life. Even more so in a group of enriched lives! What the church is to be! Enriched in every way–in our speaking and in all our knowledge! When Paul’s testimony is confirmed in us, we do “not lack any spiritual gift.” AND we are kept strong to the end because He “is faithful.”

A~ Is the testimony of Christ confirmed in me? Am I showing an enriched life?…in my speaking?…in my knowledge? Where I am surrendered, I do not lack any spiritual gift. My gifts are secure and will be to the end only because He is faithful.

P~ Oh my God, have mercy on me a sinner! Ignite the testimony of Christ in my life in confirmation of the Gospel and it’s power so I lack no spiritual gift and I persevere to the end because You are faithful! You are glorious! All wisdom and knowledge is revealed in Christ alone, my only hope of righteousness.

Be glorified in me. Through Christ I pray, Amen.

God’s Faithfulness through the Darkness | Joni Tyner

S~ God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9 (NLT)

O~ Paul is reminding us that God’s character is unchanging.  He is faithful to do what He says.  He will do His Will—in His own timing, and we are invited into the partnership.  (this isn’t our will, it is us submitting to His way.)

A~ I remember finding this verse a few years back when I was doing a Beth Moore study. I was struggling big time with trusting God and I have this memory of going out to mow the lawn and sobbing over and over and over again—“God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says.”

It was 2009 when we discovered our 16 year old son was huffing aerosols and smoking marijuana.  I was in utter shock and denial.  We had “raised” him right.  He had a loving home with good parenting boundaries and strong Christian values.  How could this happen?  We attempted counseling and help and yet things got  worse…much worse.  He would continue to use and abuse drugs and alcohol and ended up in legal trouble …and things continued to spiral into more trouble and heartache.  I was desperate to fix him and absolutely knew that Jesus wanted me to fight for him.  Looking back, I believe that the Lord knew and held my heart through those dark, dark years, yet was showing me it wasn’t my faith He was molding, (although is absolutely was through this trial).  He was, (and is) pursuing my son’s heart to have complete submission and devotion to Him.

The journey has been tough.  We invested enormous amount of money with a Christian drug treatment center. He relapsed 5 months after coming home.  He then spiraled into more trouble and went to a 10 step treatment center and was kicked out after 9 days. Next, a court ordered program. Boom.  He got kicked out for his disrespectful attitude.  From there, he was in and out of jail, couch surfing and even homeless shelters.  There was a season we really didn’t expect him to live to his 21st birthday.

…but God.

So, 8 years into this dark season, I see God’s faithfulness through it all.  He has invited me to partner with Him for this plan I still don’t understand.  I just hold on and trust His ways are not my ways.  My “job” is to continue to trust God and love my son.  I don’t need to fix him, be his preacher, his probation officer, or anything else.  I just need to be a mom with appropriate boundaries so that I don’t enable him. I need to give unconditional love as he finds his way in way.

I don’t believe the we’ve reached the end destination on this journey. Still, God is faithful.  Today, he has a driver’s license and works full time.  He dreams about a future and desires to go to college.  He is choosing friends that love Jesus and invite him to church.  He occasionally attends church and now listens to KLOVE.   He has done all of this with God’s help, not mine.  God is faithful to do what He says He will do.

P~ Dear Lord, this morning my heart cries out for every single child of yours that has wandered from their childhood faith.  I know the continued heartbreak of a parent that sees the consequences of sin and a life lived far from Your will.  Relentlessly pursue these precious children of Yours.  I pray Your Holy Spirit leaves their souls unsettled until they find the peace that only You give them.  Ignite a burning passion in these prodigals to use their stories to help bring others to the Kingdom.  And, I pray for their parents.  Hold us tightCalm our fears.  Give us hope. And, –help us to love our children with Your perfect love—a love that is unconditional, forgiving, and full of hope.  In your precious name, sweet Jesus, I pray this prayer. Amen.

Foolish preaching | Nikki Metzger

S~ Since God in His wisdom saw to it that the world would never know Him through human wisdom, He has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 1 Corinthians 1:21 (NLT)

O/A~ I have been REALLY challenged the last several weeks at church in how I look at people who don’t know Jesus.  Do I see the unsaved, have a relationship with them and think that someone else will tell them about Jesus?

This chapter speaks to how God goes about His business – and it’s not through human wisdom, it’s through foolish preaching.  To me that means, falling in love with Jesus doesn’t make sense.  Nothing logical in my brain can make my relationship with Jesus make sense.

I asked two people to come to church with me this Easter season, they both were going to see if they had anything going on.  Why am I so uncomfortable with this?  If these people were standing in front of me bleeding to death, I would rush to action and attempt to stop the bleeding, put pressure on the wound.  Why am I so nervous to speak about things that matter eternally?  Why do I care so much about being labeled ‘the girl who is literally crazy about Jesus’?

P~ Father, I asked….I thought it would be magic and rainbows would shoot through the air and unicorns would start dancing and they would be really excited to come to Easter services.  It kind of felt like a rejection instead.  Lord, help me to remember me when I was so far from You!  Please let me care more about other’s eternity then my discomfort!  That’s my prayer!!  Other’s eternity over my comfort!  Please work that in my heart!  And let me just love people where they are at, even if they say no.  I love You!!!  In Jesus’ Name I pray! Amen!

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Posted on March 16, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you for your guest post, Thomas. Your words are a blessing. I, too, am always amazed that the God of the universe walks beside me and before me, encouraging me on the journey He has planned for me. I am thankful for your journey as well, Thomas, and pray that you will see your journey unfold in ways you never dreamed of BUT GOD had planned all along.

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